Our Grades 4–12 tours provide enriching educational experiences for inquisitive art explorers. Observation, critical thinking, problem solving, and literacy skills are all seamlessly incorporated into each lesson. These one-and-a-half-hour programs are conducted in the museum’s permanent galleries. Expect to visit four to six galleries during your visit.
All tours are appropriate for grades 4–12 (except where noted). View standards alignment for school tours
Please view our pre-visit guide to prepare for your visit.
For more information, please email firstname.lastname@example.org.
These lessons are ideal for a first visit or for a general introduction to broad aspects of the collection.
Learning to Look
How can we learn to see more when we look at art? This lesson leads students to become better observers of both art and the world around them through looking, describing, imagining, and responding. Drawing and writing activities are adapted for students’ grade levels.
View Learning to Look pre-visit guide
Around the World (Grades 4–6)
What can art tell us about different times and cultures? Students compare works of art and architecture to discover the common threads and unique qualities of a variety of cultures. Grades 4–6 will complete their own around-the-world travelogue.
View the Around the World pre-visit guide
Exploring works of art naturally engages inquiring minds and encourages critical thinking. In this lesson, students deepen their understanding of art through close looking, analyzing visual evidence, making inferences, and examining different perspectives.
View Art Investigation pre-visit guide
Art History Lessons
Resistance and Resilience in United States History (Grades 4–12)
Explore the history of the United States through works of art that tell untold stories from American history. Students will develop their historical thinking skills and analyze objects that represent multiple perspectives. This lesson approaches the study of our past through an open-minded lens.
Greek and Roman Mythology in Art
Beginning with the museum building, students explore how artists have interpreted the ideas and mythology of the classical world.
What can the architecture, sculpture, textiles, and armor of medieval Europe tell us about life in the Middle Ages? This lesson explores stylistic changes in medieval art and how they demonstrate an evolving society.
Art of the Renaissance
How did art of the Renaissance reflect ideas of that time? Students examine art from Italy and northern Europe to learn more about the art and beliefs of the day.
Medieval and Renaissance Art
This offering combines two lessons, Medieval Art and Art of the Renaissance, and is designed for classes studying both periods of European history.
Renaissance to Modern
This lesson provides a chronological look at European artistic styles from the Renaissance to today. Students are encouraged to consider the strengths and challenges of each period, and evaluate their reactions to each style.
View Renaissance to Modern pre-visit guide
The Impressionist Era
What made the art of the Impressionists so different? This lesson introduces students to work by notable nineteenth-century artists and may include Monet, Degas, Cassatt, Renoir, Cézanne, van Gogh, and others, and places them within the context of their time.
View The Impressionist Era pre-visit guide
Modern and Contemporary Art
What is modern art and what makes it look the way it does? This lesson explores changing styles and ideas in European and American art, from Impressionism to Cubism to the art of today.
View Modern and Contemporary Art pre-visit guide
Art of Asia
Students examine and compare the art of several Asian countries, including China, Korea, and Japan, among others. Classes can take a general tour of Asian art or focus on a specific country.
French or Spanish Art (Grades 9–12; 1 hour)
Students studying French or Spanish learn about that culture’s art. Tours range from medieval religious objects to contemporary paintings and sculptures.
STEAM at the Museum
How is being an artist like being a scientist or a mathematician? In this lesson, students practice core STEAM skills, learning how artists create innovative solutions to complex problems by directly studying objects in the collection.
View STEAM at the Museum pre-visit guide
Art and Language Arts
During this lesson, students uncover the stories that works of art tell by learning more about the techniques that writers and artists use to make works engaging. Activities encourage careful observation, analysis, and discussion, and include creative, persuasive, and descriptive writing and poetry. This lesson can be adapted for students learning English.
View Art and Language Arts pre-visit guide
Art Speaks (Grade 4, Philadelphia public schools only)
This tour is specifically designed to help students in Grade 4 practice literacy skills while exploring art at the museum and in the classroom. During this lesson, students use a variety of language arts skills (such as comparing, describing, interpreting, and expressing opinions) as they share their observations and ideas about works of art. Before visiting, teachers can opt to have a museum educator visit their classroom virtually to introduce students to Art Speaks and to the museum.
Each class receives:
- A teaching booklet with literacy-based pre- and post-visit activities
- Image cards to use in the classroom
- A flash drive with printable worksheets
- A classroom presentation of the images with looking questions.
Thanks to generous funding, Art Speaks Museum admission and busing are free this school year.
Art Speaks is made possible by William Randolph Hearst Foundation. Support for the museum’s School and Teacher Programs that serve all K through 12 students and educators is provided by The Anne M. and Philip H. Glatfelter, III Family Foundation, Dolfinger-McMahon Foundation, The Pincus Family Foundation, and TD Charitable Foundation.
This lesson will explore women as artists and women as subjects. By analyzing works of art, students will learn about the changing roles and perspectives of women in society.
View HERstory pre-visit guide
Artists and the Natural World
During this lesson, students look at works of art from several time periods and places, and explore ways that artists have been inspired by, recorded, and incorporated elements of the natural world in their art. Students will also have a chance to respond to nature through writing and drawing activities.
The Artist and Society
What does art reflect about the time in which it was created? Students examine how artists have chronicled, commented on, and critiqued their societies.
Exploring Identity through Art
Art can be a window into an artist’s experiences, relationships, and history. Students will investigate how artists explore ideas about identity and use art as a prompt to reflect on their own sense of self.